Pakistan VC Sarmayacar backs healthcare platform Dawaai’s funding

Pakistan-focused venture capital firm Sarmayacar has backed an undisclosed funding round in Dawaai, a Pakistani online pharmacy, according to a statement. Other participating investors include London-based investment firm Kingsway Capital and San Francisco-based Mentors Fund.

Dawaai last raised nearly $1 million in pre-Series A funding from 500 Startups’s 500 Durians fund in April.

“With the capital we have raised and support of partners like Sarmayacar and Kingsway, we are focused on driving scale in the most capital-efficient manner and ushering Pakistan’s healthcare system into the new era,” Kidwai said.

Founded in 2013 by former London investment banker Furquan Kidwai, Dawaai operates as an online pharmacy targeting B2B and B2C segments across Pakistan. The country’s pharmaceutical market is estimated to be at least $3 billion in size and growing at a double-digit rate (excluding the rampant counterfeit market of $1+ billion), according to data cited by the company.

Dawaai said it sources products directly from manufacturers and established distributors to ensure authenticity and then fulfills demand through its managed end-to-end logistics function.

Commenting on its investment, Sarmayacar’s founder and managing director, Rabeel Warraich, said moving pharmaceutical products across Pakistan comes with logistical challenges, impacting margins in a price-controlled market.

“Dawaai, in our view, is tackling these very real pain points – by aggregating demand across the country and managing logistics end to end,” he said.

Sarmayacar was established in 2016, as a syndicate of local and international angel investors pooling capital and expertise to back Pakistani startups. The firm is led by Rabeel Warraich and Bernhard Klemen.

In November, Sarmayacar secured the first close of its $30-million fund, the nation’s largest VC fund yet, which targets seed to early-stage startups in Pakistan. The fund covers technology and technology-enabled sectors with ticket sizes between $100,000 and $2 million.
The Pakistan-focused fund is backed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), as well as individuals from GIC and other investors. Its current investments are Bykea, Revolving Games, Dot & Line, PublishEx, ProCheck and Patari.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.